What are Omega Fatty Acids?
Unfortunately, we still mistakenly associate eating healthy fats such as omega fatty acids with body fat. In most cases, weight gain and chronic health conditions are caused by our addiction to sugar, not dietary fat. There are unhealthy dietary fats, primarily Trans Fats, but as a food group, dietary fats play a valuable and necessary role in vitamin absorption, cell growth, hormone production and brain health.
Types Of Fats
Saturated fats and cholesterol found in meat, milk and eggs are often considered “bad” fats that should be consumed in moderation. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of several hormones and synovial fluid which lubricates our joints.
Fatty Acids are unsaturated or “good” fats including essential fatty acids known as linoleic and linolenic acid. Omega 3 fatty acids fall in this category and are considered “essential” because the body does not produce them. Sources of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids include fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, seaweed, fish and shellfish.
Benefits of Omega Fatty Acids
Triglycerides – Omega fatty acids lower your triglycerides, reducing your risk for heart attacks and stroke, by increasing the elasticity (flexibility) of your artery walls.
Serotonin – Omega fatty acids increase brain activity and serotonin production and decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s and memory loss.
Joint Health Omega fatty acids reduce inflammation and maintain healthy joints by repairing cartilage and connective tissues.
Weight Loss – Increasing your omega fatty acids could increase your weight loss by 10 to 15% by stimulating enzymes which help promote burning of stored fat as fuel.
Natural Sources of Healthy Omega Fatty Acids
Avocados are naturally nutrient-dense and contain 20 vitamins and minerals plus a rich supply of omega fatty acids. Caution: If weight loss is one of your fitness goals, keep in mind that avocados are also high in calories, use them sparingly by adding slices to your sandwich, salads or in homemade guacamole.
Fish like salmon and tuna are rich in omega fatty acids and high in natural antioxidants like astaxanthin which may reduce your risk for high blood pressure. Choose wild fish when available as farm raised fish often have an increased risk of exposure to pesticides and heavy metals.
Olive Oils. Olive oil should be your first choice for cooking oil. Olive oils contain monounsaturated fatty acid that lowers your LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. Olive oil also reduces your risk for the buildup of plaque inside your arterial walls, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Omega fatty acids have been shown to a decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke, lower your blood pressure, and reduce the joint pain associated with arthritis.